"They are not yet tired of war. Far from it. Do you know the ancient Nord word for war? "Season unending"... so it has proved."

Season Unending is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Despite warnings about a dragon, the Jarl of Whiterun says that he cannot help with the effort to defeat it unless the Civil War is stopped. Only the Greybeards are in a position to hold a peace council.


The Jarl of Whiterun won't help me capture a dragon as long as the civil war is raging. If I can get the Greybeards to host a peace council, I can try to convince the Imperial and the Stormcloaks to agree to a truce in order to defeat Alduin, who is a threat to both sides of the civil war.



The Dragonborn must talk to either Paarthurnax, Arngeir, or Esbern. Whoever is picked will say that they must talk to the Jarl of Whiterun to try and convince him to let them use Dragonsreach, which was originally designed to capture and house a dragon.

Jarl of Whiterun

The Dragonborn tries to enlist the aid of the Jarl Balgruuf the Greater; however, the Jarl will say that he cannot try to capture a dragon while Whiterun is under threat of attack. He says that if a peace treaty can be agreed between the Imperials and the Stormcloaks, he will help capture and hold a dragon. The Jarl will also suggest talking to the Greybeards, as both General Tullius and Ulfric Stormcloak highly respect them.

Should the Dragonborn have already completed the Civil War questline, thus ending Skyrim's Civil War, then this quest will be automatically bypassed. Regardless of whether Whiterun is under the rule of Balgruuf the Greater or Vignar Gray-Mane, the Jarl will agree to capture Odahviing without talking to the Greybeards, and the main questline will be continued.

Season unending panoramic.jpg

Getting the two sides to the table

The Dragonborn will speak to the Greybeards, who will agree to help negotiate a truce. Arngeir will suggest the Dragonborn speak to both General Tullius and Ulfric Stormcloak, and extend an invitation to meet with the Greybeards and discuss the future of Skyrim.

Note that if the Dragonborn has not yet chosen a side in the Civil War questline, then upon speaking with both General Tullius and Ulfric the first time, there will be no dialogue option to tell either about the peace conference. Instead, after mentioning Helgen, each will assume that the Dragonborn wants to join their side. Each will direct them to their assistant (either Legate Rikke or Galmar Stone-Fist), and in most cases they will then end the conversation. Approaching each one a second time will now present the option to tell them about the Greybeards and the conference.

After speaking to both parties, returning to Arngeir and speaking with him will allow the conference to begin. However, Delphine and Esbern will show up demanding entrance to the conference representing the Blades. Arngeir initially refuses, but is ultimately persuaded to permit them to join.

Peace Treaty

Once the peace conference has started, the Dragonborn is given a multitude of options, mostly having to do with the side taken in Civil War questline.

Negotiation 1: Elenwen

As soon as the negotiations begin, Ulfric objects to Elenwen being involved in this council, saying how the Thalmor should have nothing to do with Skyrim's politics. Tullius or Ulfric will ask what the Dragonborn's thoughts are:

  1. To agree with Tullius and keep Elenwen in the meeting.
  2. To agree with Ulfric and eject Elenwen from the meeting.

The choice made counts as a 'score' to the side the Dragonborn agrees with. Should the disappointed side not be favored in the next round, they may threaten to leave the negotiations, depending on the Dragonborn's stand in the Civil War. They never will, but will at least say that they feel they are treated unfairly.

Negotiation 2: Markarth or Riften

The next item to discuss is giving up a major Hold.

If the Dragonborn has sided with the Stormcloaks, General Tullius will demand that Riften be turned over to the Empire. Otherwise (either if sided with the Imperials or no side yet selected), Ulfric will demand Markarth be surrendered to the Stormcloaks. The opposing faction's reaction depends on the state of the Civil War: The faction that controls Markarth or Riften asks the Dragonborn what they believe is a fair trade for the city.

The answer is one of three choices:

  1. An exchange of a major Hold the opposition has. A major hold is one whose capital city is walled. For the purposes of this quest, only The Reach and The Rift can be traded. Being originally neutral, and therefore not part of any trades, Whiterun is excluded for it is implicitly at the heart of the negotiations. The primary goal of the truce is to get the side that does not currently control Whiterun to agree to cease hostilities against this hold.
  2. An exchange of a minor Hold the opposition has. This is one whose capital city is not walled. For example: Hjaalmarch, Falkreath, Winterhold, or The Pale.
  3. Alternative dealing with choice in Civil War questline (not available if no side has been chosen yet).

The council goes along with whatever choice is made. The side that controls Markarth or Riften will be unhappy if it is bargained for a minor Hold.

Negotiation 3/NA (Through Console Command): Minor Hold

If a console command is used to do the mission when the Stormcloaks or the Imperials only have their capital left, the other side will down size their demand to a minor hold. Here the Dragonborn has the choice of surrendering a minor hold to the Imperials or the Stormcloaks. There is no difference in the speech other than at the end. If a minor hold is indeed given up, Tullius tells the Dragonborn of his displeasure. He does not use that speech if it is kept. The Stormcloaks will take the deal either way.

Negotiation 4: Concessions

It is now time for the faction that has been favored less (and thus "losing" the negotiations) to ask for additional concessions. For each demand, the Dragonborn can choose whether to agree to the concession. If the Dragonborn continues to favor one side, the other will eventually say that they will, after all, act for the greater good, and they will agree to the terms in any case.


Once the treaty is agreed, the quest is complete. Arngeir summarizes the terms of the agreement, including the new Jarls appointed due to Holds exchanged. If the Dragonborn has joined a side, and the agreement is beneficial or neutral for their side, their chief negotiator (Tullius or Ulfric) will compliment the Dragonborn's efforts and reward them with a leveled weapon.

After completing the peace treaty with both sides, the Civil War questline is halted until the main quest has been fully completed.

If the Dragonborn has sided with the Stormcloaks and has liberated Falkreath in the questline "Liberation of Skyrim," in which the next objective is to liberate the Reach, then it is possible that after completing "Season Unending," the "Liberate the Reach" objective will also be complete. Note that the Liberation questline cannot be completed if the Dragonborn has a bounty in either Windhelm or Solitude.

If the Dragonborn has sided with the Legion and decides to trade the Reach for the Rift, then the quest "Compelling Tribute" in the Civil War questline is skipped.


Season Unending – MQ302
ID Journal Entry
10 The Jarl of Whiterun won't help me capture a dragon as long as the civil war is raging. If I can get the Greybeards to host a peace council, I can try to convince the Imperials and the Stormcloaks to agree to a truce in order to defeat Alduin, who is a threat to both sides in the civil war.
  • Objective 10: Talk to Arngeir
15 The Jarl of Whiterun won't help me capture a dragon as long as the civil war is raging. Arngeir has agreed to host a peace council at High Hrothgar. I need to convince the Imperials and the Stormcloaks to agree to a truce in order to defeat Alduin, who is a threat to both sides in the civil war.
  • Objective 20: Talk to General Tullius
  • Objective 30: Talk to Ulfric Stormcloak
  • Objective 40: Talk to Arngeir
  • Objective 50: Take your seat
  • Objective 60: Negotiate a truce
300 The Jarl of Whiterun wouldn't help me capture a dragon as long as the civil war was raging. Arngeir agreed to host a peace council at High Hrothgar. With Esbern's help, I persuaded General Tullius and Ulfric Stormcloak to agree to a truce in order to defeat Alduin, who is a threat to both sides in the civil war.
  • Quest complete
  • Quest complete
  • Quest complete


  • Whether Paarthurnax has been killed or not will affect the dialogue between Delphine, Esbern and Arngeir during the Blades' request to attend the negotiations.
  • Evgiir Unslaad, or "Season Unending" is the Ancient Nordic term for war. This is revealed through dialogue with Arngeir, which further reflects his opposition to war and his pessimism about the usefulness of the peace treaty.
  • It is implied that Ulfric Stormcloak already knew Delphine before the events of "Season Unending." While listening to Esbern, he asks Delphine if Esbern is with her, referring to her by name. There is no dialogue during the quest to suggest that the two are meeting for the first time in High Hrothgar.
  • Dual casting Frenzy coupled with Quiet Casting on the council can create chaos, causing them to fight against each other. Despite this, neither side of the conflict will become hostile to the other or end the council.
  • Elenwen will not react in any way to the presence of either Delphine or Esbern, despite both being priority targets of the Thalmor. She will also have some threatening dialogue for the Dragonborn if spoken to, along the lines of knowing exactly who they are and remembering them from the Embassy infiltration.
  • In pure diplomatic terms, the best outcome of the negotiations that can be achieved is to gain one major and one minor Hold for trading one major Hold only. The "price" for this is to agree to the opposing party's request about Elenwen (e.g., sending her away if the Dragonborn sides with the Imperials). Although the chief negotiator will announce that the terms of the treaty clearly favor the other side, he will then silently admit that the Dragonborn has done well and grant an item reward.
  • The Dragonborn can back out of conversation when both Ulfric and Tullius speak to them. In addition, they can tell them that they are not interested in dealing with politics. If this is done for both sides, then Markarth will be taken by the Stormcloaks, and Riften will be taken by the Imperials.
  • When finalizing the truce, Arngier will say "step down," acting as if the affected Jarls willingly accepted the terms, when they, depending on which side of the war they supported, will really be banished to either Windhelm or Solitude, respectively.
  • This quest is skipped if the Civil War questline has already been completed, regardless of who the Dragonborn sided with. It will also be skipped if either Windhelm or Solitude is the only remaining city that has yet to be taken.


This section contains bugs related to Season Unending. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
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  •  PC   360   PS3   If the Dragonborn has started the quest to join either the Stormcloaks or the Imperials, it will be impossible to continue with the quest, as there will be no dialogue box when they talk to the faction leaders, making it impossible to tell them about the Greybeards' peace treaty.
    • This can be fixed by repeatedly tapping the activate button when speaking to Galmar or Ulfric. They will keep saying that a mission is ongoing. Upon completing the "Battle for Whiterun," the option to talk to General Tullius and Ulfric Stormcloak becomes available again. It also is possible to talk to them when returning The Jagged Crown.
    •  PC(Fix)   To talk to Ulfric, the console command SetStage MQ302 30 can be used after having already talked to General Tullius.
    •  PC(Fix)   To talk to General Tullius, the console command SetStage MQ302 20 can be used after having already talked to Ulfric.
    •  360   PS3   Joining either of the factions and speaking to the leader immediately afterwards will work around this. Note that this only works with General Tullius: Ulfric will just direct the Dragonborn to talk to Galmar.
    • Alternatively, if the Dragonborn has any outstanding "initiation" quests running, then completing them should allow talking to the appropriate leader.
  • If "The Jagged Crown" (for the Legion) has been started, Tullius will not be able to speak with the Dragonborn, instead sending him to join Legate Rikke.
    • This can also occur with Ulfric in the same quest, if joining the Stormcloaks.
  • Sometimes one or more of the original guards of the holds that were exchanged will still be inside the main city and the guard(s) will attack their new occupants.
  •  PC   360   PS3   If the negotiators stop talking and the Dragonborn is unable to talk, they should exit their seat or it will be impossible to continue the creation of the treaty.
    •  PC(Fix)   Using setstage mq302 300 after the NPC's are seated at the table will complete the quest. Talking to Esbern should continue the quest after that.
    •  360   PS3   A previous save that has the older state of "Season Unending" can be reloaded to finish the quest.
  • The meeting may not start after the Dragonborn has taken a seat.
    • Staying seated and waiting twenty-four hours in-game will trigger the meeting. If it still does not trigger, all guests should sit down after five to ten minutes of real time.
    • Leaving High Hrothgar and then coming back can also trigger the meeting.
    •  PC(Fix)   If the quest still does not begin, typing setstage mq302 60 into the console can fix it.
    •  PC(Fix)   If the console command above does not help, disabling then enabling Galmar or moving him closer to his seat via console commands (clicking him and then typing "movto player") may also help.
    •  360(Fix)   Making sure that both the "Season Unending" and "The Fallen" quests are selected, talking to Arngeir at the other side of the table, then finally walking over and take a seat and wait for an hour once seated, should trigger the meeting.
    •  PC  This bug may also occur if the quest "Tending the Flames" is at a stage where Viarmo is about to recite the verse to Elisif, rendering both "Tending The Flames" and this quest impossible to progress further. The best option so far is to load from an earlier save (before speaking to Tullius and Ulfric / before giving King Olaf's Verse to Viarmo) and complete either one first without progressing on the other.
  •  PS3   The Achievement/Trophy from the Civil War quests can be missed because of how "Season Unending" plays out. If the favored faction gains one or both of the needed forts, the Dragonborn will not get credit, thus never unlocking the Achievement/Trophy.
    • This can be fixed by ensuring the opposing faction gets both forts, or completing that portion of the Civil War quests before starting "Season Unending."
  •  PC   Esbern may not speak.
    • Disabling then enabling him will wake him up. This can be done by opening the console, clicking on him, then typing "disable" and "enable." This may need to be repeated every time he stops walking around his seat.
  • Sometimes the Jarl of Whiterun does not require this quest and will allow the Dragonborn to trap a dragon even if the war is not yet finished, when all Stormcloak cities but Windhelm or all Imperial cities but Solitude have been captured.
  •  360   PS3   Legate Rikke attacks the Dragonborn if they have committed several crimes, such as stealing horses at Imperial camps.
    • This can be solved by attacking her far away from the negotiation room until she is on her knees (since she is marked as essential, she cannot be killed), then quickly sprinting to the room to start the negotiations. The trick is not to let anyone else see Legate Rikke attack.
  • If "The Forsworn Conspiracy" has not been completed, it will automatically be marked as complete if Markarth is surrendered to the Stormcloaks. However, the next quest, "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine," will not appear in the quests screen.
  • Sometimes, "Season Unending" will not complete gracefully, causing quest stages for both it and the overall Civil War quest (id "CW") to not engage properly. For example:
    • Characters from the conference may endlessly walk up and down the stairs just outside High Hrothgar, not responding to the Dragonborn and not otherwise participating in any quest dialogue or events. If using the console to kill or forcibly return them to their home locations, they will simply walk back to the stairs and continue their endless loop (even walking across all of Skyrim to reach the steps).
      • This can be solved by ensuring all finishing quest stages have been properly completed, specifically stages past 300.  PC   Check their status with player.sqs MQ302 and activate stages with setstage MQ302 <stage>. As soon as the appropriate stage is triggered, all remaining characters will begin a long walk back to their home locations and will immediately be able to interact with the Dragonborn again.
    • "Season Unending" triggers stage 255 of the overall Civil War quest ("CW"), a stage which is specially designed to stop the war while the peace conference is in session. When active, this stage puts a forced hold on all Civil War combat quests (except for the "Battle for Whiterun"), preventing the selection of key dialogue options to trigger them. Stage 256 of CW releases this hold thus re-enabling the war, and should be automatically triggered when "Season Unending" completes. However, if the quest does not complete gracefully, the Civil War may become stuck on permanent hold.
      •  PC(Fix)   This can be checked via player.sqs CW and fixed via setstage CW 256.
  •  PC   If, during the quest "The Jagged Crown" (for the Stormcloaks), the Dragonborn gives Ulfric the message from the Graybeards instead of handing over the Jagged Crown, Galmar may not appear at the conference and make it impossible to continue.
    •  PC(Fix)   This can be fixed with the command prid 0001B133 followed by moveto player.
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